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Rainbow Supper Club Racial Equity Statement

The Rainbow Supper Club organizers stand in solidarity with all those fighting against racial injustice in the wake of the horrific murders of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, Tony McDade, and countless other Black people.

Deep-rooted systemic racism continues to undercut our nation’s purported ideals of freedom and equality, and fuels the ongoing crises of racial injustice, and violence inflicted upon communities of color. The events over the last month are simply the most recent tragic examples of how a lack of accountability and a misguided sense of national priorities have fueled social and economic inequities for decades.

LGBTQ equality is unequivocally linked with racial justice work, and the fact that people of color are disproportionately represented in discrimination and violence of LGBTQ people (especially trans women of color) and is another manifestation of systemic racism. Connected to the Rainbow Supper Club’s goals of bringing together people, it is also our daily work to identify and dismantle racism and all systemic oppression, and we are fully committed to this urgent task.

See also WMEC’s Racial Equity & Diversity Statement.

THE RAINBOW SUPPER CLUB IS MEETING VIRTUALLY DUE TO COVID-19.

Due to COVID-19, we have suspended our monthly in-person dinners and shifted to weekly virtual gatherings. We appreciate your understanding. 

Meetings/events take place on Wednesdays from 5-6pm

Interested individuals can participate from a phone or computer/iPad/tablet.

SERVICES AND PROGRAMS

fruits and vegetables arranged in a rainbow arch with text rainbow supper club in large letters above smaller text that reads a partnership of westmass eldercare and holyoke council on aging

RAINBOW SUPPERCLUB

Our monthly dinner program in partnership with the Holyoke Council on Aging. Featuring a delicious dinner, every month’s program is different – from drag bingo to comedy to dancing!

These dinners are a part of WestMass ElderCare’s Nutrition Program / Congregate Meal Sites. These meal sites offer opportunities for social interaction and companionship, as well as a nutrition education and volunteer opportunities. 

There is a confidential, voluntary donation for individuals 60+, and a fee for individuals under 60.

Due to COVID-19, in-person dinners are suspended. Virtual meetings are happening weekly. Click here to learn more. 

SOCIAL EVENTS

Social connection is a cornerstone of our community. Working closely with local organizations and community groups, we participate in a variety of events throughout the year.

Some of the things we’ve done include: film screenings, educational panels, dances, marching at local Pride celebrations, intergenerational discussions, and more!

ADVOCACY OPPORTUNITIES

WestMass ElderCare works alongside other affirming LGBTQ community resources to ensure civil rights for LGBTQ older adults.

We provide referrals to legal services and provide support for individuals seeking justice based on discrimination and/or harassment due to their sexual orientation, gender identity, and/or expression. 

Know you are not alone. We’re here to help! 

To find out more about our LGBTQ Support, please call our Information and Referral Department:

413.538.9020 or 800.462.2301

You can also email rainbowsupperclub@wmeldercare.org.

Why are LGBTQ support programs important?

Offering programs that address the needs and interests of LGBTQ older people is one concrete step we can take to create welcoming, safe and LGBTQ-affirming spaces, where all LGBTQ older adults can be their authentic selves, just like their peers.

In multiple studies, it has been found that LGBTQ older people widely fear accessing services, with transgender elders especially concerned because of high rates of being denied services or receiving inferior services. 

In addition, the added stress of dealing with decades of discrimination means that LGBTQ older people are at a greater risk of physical and mental illnesses, and other issues, such as depression, disability, chronic illnesses, poverty, social isolation, poor nutrition and premature mortality.*

By having programs that explicitly recognize and celebrate LGBTQ individuals, as well as understand and meet their needs, we can ensure that we are providing equitable care for all.   

* From SAGE | LGBT Aging Project

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Additional Resources 

The LGBT Aging Project 
A program of Fenway Health ensuring LGBT seniors have equal access to life-prolonging services, programs, and protections.
https://fenwayhealth.org/the-fenway-institute/lgbt-aging-project/

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SAGE (Services & Advocacy for GLBT Elders)
National LGBTQ elder services and advocacy organization.
Has hotline, mentorship program, and much more. 

https://www.sageusa.org/ 
Hotline: 1-877-360-LGBT

blue square with white text in the inside larger letters read SAGE then below are smaller words that read services and advocacy for gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender elders

National Resource Center for LGBTQ Aging
A technical assistance resource center providing support to the LGBTQ elder community.
https://www.lgbtagingcenter.org/

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LifePath | Rainbow Elders
Sibling program in Franklin County for LGBTQIA+ elders.
Part of LifePath senior services organizations.
https://lifepathma.org/rainbowelders

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Rainbow Seniors of Berkshire County
Sibling program in Berkshire County for LGBTQ seniors.
https://rainbowseniors.org/

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